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Kaka numbers on the rise at Pukaha Mount Bruce!

Kaka numbers on the rise at Pukaha Mount Bruce!

We are very proud to confirm that kaka are flourishing at Pukaha Mount Bruce where official figures have estimated more than 160 kaka live on our 940 hectare reserve. The last census in 2007 estimated 82 kaka were established at the Pukaha reserve - meaning numbers have doubled in five years.

The kaka population began in 1996 when just nine juvenile kaka were released into the Pukaha forest - the first kaka at Pukaha in 50 years.

Kathy Houkamau, our fantastic Centre Manager, said "The results of the census are very encouraging. The Pukaha forest can sustain many more birds and we're looking forward to seeing the population continuing to grow".

This dramatic increase is due to kaka breeding in the wild as kaka are not part of our captive breeding programme. Pukaha's pest control programme plays a significant role in keeping predator numbers down, allowing kaka eggs and chicks to survive. Over $150,000 each year is required just to maintain the current level of pest control on the reserve. In addition to our pest control programme inside the reserve, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Horizons Regional Council help to protect the 'buffer' zone around Pukaha Mount Bruce to attempt to prevent predators from reaching the Pukaha reserve in the first place.

The census was completed over several months in order to ensure an accurate figure. Kaka are known to fly to Kapiti Island and back in a day, so tracking them is no easy feat.

Kaka engage in a highly entertaining 'kaka circus' each day at 3pm when Department of Conservation rangers give them a tasty afternoon snack to the delight of our visitors. The snack is enough to provide the kaka an incentive to come in and provide a close up look for visitors, but isn't enough to replace the need to hunt for their own food in the wild. If you haven't already seen this spectacular sight, make sure you include it as a must for this summer.

Kaka are known to be particularly intelligent birds, with powerful wings and feet which allow them to jump through the trees and tumble through the air, hanging from branches to reach fruit and flowers. Many of you will already know that kaka are close relatives to the cheeky kea.
Come see them soon!


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